My version of paradise would include the Bay Islands in Honduras. This is one of the most relaxing and beautiful places I have ever experienced. The Bay Islands are set in the Caribbean coast of Honduras, and it takes about two hours to get from the mainland to the islands, and from there it is pure paradise.
We went to Roatan, the largest of the 3 islands and we stayed at the West End, which is basically home to every dive school on Roatan. Our hostel was right next to Half Moon Bay which was crystal clear warm water. We basically spent many hours laying on the beach and soaking up the sun in our larger than life bathtub.
I hope that you are not here to read today, since mainly I am basically just posting a ton of pictures from our time in Paradise. Since we really spent the majority of our time on the beach, there isn't a whole lot to say. :)
On our first day on the beach, a local lady came up to me and asked me if I wanted a massage (this was fairly common, so it wasn't a strange offer). I told her no, but she persisted and started giving me a massage anyway. I told her I had no money, but she insisted it was a free sample of a massage. Well, it lasted about 15 minutes, and I gave her like $2 for the massage. And it was great. I've never had a massage on the beach, but it was definitely a nice way to relax while in the sun.
Sometimes we have a problem of taking way too many pictures. Normally I don't post all of them, cause that would look like we are crazy and super into ourselves. But these ones were so much fun, I couldn't help but post them all. Kind of ridiculous, I know, but this is what you do while you relax in paradise.
We didn't have a waterproof camera, so we had to make sure to keep at least one hand dry and keep the camera above the water. Kind of impressive all the amazing selfies we were able to take under such high pressure circumstances.
On our beach (and literally, it was our beach for the first few days since we were some of the only ones there) there was this cool boat that I wanted to take a picture with. I'm not sure how long it had been sitting there, but I wouldn't trust it in the water.
And of course, we are addicted to ice cream, so we had to make a stop at the local ice cream shop every day in order to cool off a little bit. We especially loved the pistachio ice cream, even if it was bright green.
One day while we were at the ice cream shop, this little girl would not leave us alone. Eventually she crawled up into my lap and had a great time talking to herself and playing with her toes and giggling. She didn't want to talk to me, but anytime I wasn't paying attention to her she would grab my face and turn my head so I was looking at her.
For dinners at night we always like to eat at local places. In an area like Roatan, you can basically find any type of tourist food you could possibly imagine. There were tons of bars, and tons of American type restaurants, but we prefer local food. We can get American food in the States. We found a cute place where we would go and get baleadas every night, which are handmade flour tortillas filled with beans, cheese, and other stuff. I preferred mine with scrambled eggs and avocado. The lady that made these made them really well. We had met a group of guys earlier that had served their missions in Honduras and when we said that baleadas weren't our favorite food they were super offended. After having them a few times, however, we came to truly love them.
One of the most exciting things we saw while we were in Roatan was our friend Julie Larson. She just happened to be on a cruise that docked on Roatan. What a small world. We went over to the cruise dock and took her and her family with us to the beach to go snorkeling. So much fun to have a BYU-Idaho reunion in Central America!
While we were on the beach, Caitlin found a sun dress that she could wear with her swimsuit, so we bought it. Just a little souvenir from Honduras.
This island is pretty big, so we had to take a water taxi to get around. It was a lot of fun being on the water taxi, and there are so many of them that you actually have a private boat that you get to ride in. Not a bad way to travel compared to some of the other places we visited.
And of course, you cannot go to the Caribbean without snorkeling. I would have loved to go diving, but I don't know how to, and the schools are super expensive. But we spent a few hours with our faces in the water exploring.
We snorkeled in the reef off of West End, and also in West Bay with Julie. Caitlin and I were able to see a sunken submarine, a couple of sea turtles, and millions of fish. It is so cool, so you actually swim in the swarms of fish. I really love snorkeling, even if it kind of scares Caitlin a little bit. And I love being able to breath underwater, and the flippers make me feel like I'm a real good swimmer.
We rented our snorkel gear from the Roatan Marine Park so that our money goes to conserving the reef. There are a ton of lionfish in the Caribbean, and they allow you to hunt for them since they are not native to the area, are destroying everything, and have no natural enemies. It is thought that they escaped from an aquarium in Florida. But we didn't have things to hunt them with, nor did we really know how to hunt lionfish, but we really wanted to eat one... but we forgot until after we left. We were too busy eating baleadas.
One of the best parts about being on the beach is getting to experience the sunrises and sunsets. We absolutely love sitting on the beach while the sunsets, taking in the majesty of the world.
But unfortunately, we only had 4 days to be in Roatan. Not nearly enough, but we are so glad we made the trip to the Caribbean coast as part of our backpacking adventures.